After graduation, what’s next for you?
The Alumni Career Mentorship Program for final-year students allows you to reduce post-MTA anxiety while exploring possible future paths for careers, further studies, a gap year, and the like. Through working with a mentor, many students discover a path they hadn’t yet considered and learn that establishing a career is not nearly as linear a process as they’d imagined.
Over the course of your eight-month relationship with a “MTA mentor alum”, you’ll engage in personal, one-to-one conversations. These will give you the opportunity to ask questions, pick up helpful tips, learn more about your field of endeavour, and begin to build your professional network. You may even find, as some students do, that a long-term bond forms between you and your mentor.
Read below to learn how a mentor can help you with your career, what mentorship means, and how the Alumni Career Mentorship Program works.
How a mentor can help you with your career
Students enter their final year at Mount Allison with various thoughts about the future. You might be laser-focused on finding your first job, looking ahead to grad school, still exploring different career options, or just feeling confused and concerned. Wherever you are in your thinking, a mentor can help you prepare for your next step, or perhaps consider a range of possible next steps.
Here are some of the ways that Mount Allison students benefited from career mentors in our pilot program in 2016-17:
- My mentor has put me in contact with other professionals within the industry, and it has been wonderful being able to gain an inside look into different career options.
- Our conversations are thought-provoking and friendly, and I feel that I am learning a lot from our meetings and from the readings we are doing together.
- The most useful piece of advice I have received from my mentor is to embrace deviations from the career path I have in my head.
- It [working with a mentor] has helped me to feel less stressed and overwhelmed about graduating and the uncertainty of the future.
- His insights on the “what’s next” have been extremely beneficial. He has put me in contact with several different people and has helped me look for jobs!
- [My mentor] has provided me with very useful information on what the first five years of working in a firm looks like… and tips to move up the ladder faster.
- Just when I thought I was going over the abyss and I was concerned about getting career advice only from my father, my mentor gave me a lifeline of information and ideas.
- We developed a close relationship. I am job shadowing him for a week after graduation
What mentorship means
Once you’re matched with a mentor, you become a “mentee.” That means you enter into a relationship with someone in a field related to your possible field. That relationship will last the entire 2017-18 academic year. To make it work, you’ll have to do your part and be:
- Committed to regular communication (in person or via the phone or Internet)
- Clear about what you want to get from the mentorship
- Proactive about initiating contact and jointly setting the direction of your meetings
How the Alumni Career Mentorship Program works
Your mentorship experience will unfold in five phases:
1. Application. The first step is to complete our detailed application form. Tell us as much about yourself as you can so we can do our best to find you a great “match.”
2. Matching. We’ll evaluate your application and try to match you with an appropriate MTA alumni mentor. Please note that we depend on the availability of suitable “matching’”alumni, so while we do our best, we can’t guarantee that we will be able to match all applicants with a mentor.
3. Training. As a MTA mentee, you’ll be expected to conduct yourself professionally and to plan for productive meetings with your mentor. An interactive workshop will prepare you to identify objectives and to make the most of your mentorship opportunity.
4. Regular meetings, with periodic check-ins. From late September to the end of March, we expect you to meet regularly (at least once a month) with your mentor, in person or virtually. You’ll also check in with the program leader by e-mail on up to three scheduled dates to reflect on what you’ve been learning and share your thoughts with others in the program. At least once during the program, you’ll meet with other mentees for an in-person reflection session.
5. In-person group debrief. At the end of the program, you’ll gather with other mentees to compare notes on your experiences and consider the next steps along your personal career journey. At this meeting, you may decide to continue with some form of relationship with your mentor, or you may decide to graciously say ‘thanks and good bye’. As is the case throughout the program, it’s up to you and your mentor to determine what works best for the two of you.